Copper Canyon Best Train Ride, El Fuerte

Getting to Copper Canyon:
By Bus: From the US the Omnibus and the Chihuahuenses Prieta, Nogales.
From Chihuahua the Estrella Blanca bus serves Creel with 7 departures each day with a 5-hour trip.
To return to Chihuahua from Creel, catch the Estrella Blanca bus across from the Creel train station starting at 7 am.

Taxi service
Taxis are available at Creel and Divisidero.
Bus Service: Local buses go between the towns in the canyons, Long-haul Estrella Blanca buses out of Creel go to Cuauhtémoc and Chihuahua to the east or, by a long way around, to Hermosillo.  (only four-wheel roads go west from Creel to the coast)

Best Stop On The Train Line
Divisadero for proximity to the canyons.
Creel is a good town for lodging, mountain biking/hiking, tours to other canyon towns such as Batopilas,  and for transportation by bus and taxi.

Best train Loading Point:
El Fuerte on the western end and Chihuahua on the eastern end.
(From
El Fuerte you will see many spectacular vistas as the train enters the canyons but Chihuahua is a good option for those on a schedule because in case of a train breakdown you can bus back on first class buses from Creel or Divisadero; there is no convenient bus service from Divisadero or Creel to the western train stations of El Fuerte or Los Mochis.)
Train station at Creel
Passengers wait for the train
Visiting a former cave dwelling
Best Time To Go: October brings great weather and is just before the high season of November/December.

What To Pack: Warm clothes, the mountains can be cold at night. Cash in small denominations; although the town of Creel has a bank and ATM, phone lines can go out and the ATM will go down.

Food and Water: the train conductors discourage eating in the coaches but if you have a train break down, you could need emergency rations. The dining car on the first class train serves good meals in a nice setting at moderate to high prices: $7.50-$10. USD for breakfast.
Time: Leave yourself a flexible window of time in case of emergency; a planned three-day trip could turn onto an unplanned five-day trip.

Price: First Class train from Los Mochis to Creel, $100 USD approximately.  Second Class (a few cars behind the first class section or a  later train that arrives to the canyon villages later after making a few more stops but is otherwise not much different than first class: half the price of first class.) (check ahead if transporting a mountain bike)
Second Class train now only available three days a week

www.umarike.com.mx      Mountain Biking/Hiking, Creel

From the US (Tijuana, Nogales, Agua Prieta, El Paso/Juarez) the Omnibus and the Chihuahuenses buses serve Chihuahua City.
From Chihuahua the Estrella Blanca bus serves Creel with 7 departures each day with a 5-hour trip.
To reach Chihuahua from Creel, catch the Estrella Blanca bus across from theCreel  train station starting at 7 am.
Shopping for artisan crafts at Divisidero, a 15 minute stop at the edge of the canyons

Copper Canyon Train Service Details

Passengers have two options to start the trip from the western end. The best is to drive or bus to El Fuerte and board the train there. (Route 32, fifty miles northeast of Los Mochis)
 If you are driving south on Route 15,  watch for the El Fuerte turn-off just south of the Sonora/Sinaloa border.  Route 1
El Fuerte has an interesting history and well preserved Centro Historico.   Hotels in the town center will help with transportation to the train station, six kilometers south of town.   A cab to the station will be 40 peso per person for a group or 100 pesos for a single passenger.
Driving
If you drive into El Fuerte, find the road to Hoyanco just after the Pemex station. Stay on the road for six kilometers and you will reach the station. You can park in a secure lot run by a family just to the right as you enter the station parking area. The family parks you in their back yard for 100 pesos per night.
Scenery
 If you board the train at El Fuerte, you haven’t missed any of the scenery; the first 50 miles east of Los Mochis are through flat farmland.

Copper Canyon Artisans, Baskets of the Tarahumara.
Boarding the train in El Fuerte
Copper Canyon Train Ride Chepe Train
From the US: Buses run from Nogales or Tijuana to Los Mochis where you can get a bus to El Fuerte

The Copper Canyon Best Ride is from El Fuerte, 50 Miles Inland from the Pacific Coast. Drive or bus to El Fuerte on Route 32 and board the train fifty miles northeast of Los Mochis.

The Copper Canyon Best Ride from the western end is to start in El Fuerte, 50 Miles Inland from the Pacific Coast. From there it is six hours by train to the Creel station, pictured above   
Lunch in Creel Restaurant Veronica
See schedule with link below
The Copper Canyon train leaves the El Fuerte stop at around 9:30 am
 If you are driving south on Route 15,   watch for the El Fuerte turn-off just south of the Sonora/Sinaloa border.
The Tarahumar live in the canyon where they farm and weave reed baskets for sale
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